Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Hugger Motorcycles Reviews (30)
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2011-02-01 2001 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Hugger Motorcycles View Listings

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My last Sportster reference was a '69 XLCH and it was pretty bad. I took this '01 in on a trade and thought I might ride it a little and then sell it, but it's a great little bike and I think I'm going to keep it. I don't understand where all the stories about horrible vibration, poor handling and lack of comfort are coming from. This thing is as smooth as glass at 65 mph and has only a very slight, very tolerable vibration at 80+ mph. I've ridden it at 80 for over an hour at a time. It's not a sport bike, but it will still go down any twisty road I can find in North Arkansas at twice the legal speed limit or better. I've got about 15 bikes in the garage and find myself throwing a leg over this one more often. Maybe this is just a good one?
- bilbo, LR, Arkansas

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2009-07-31 2003 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Hugger Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought my 883 Hugger last year with only 233 miles on her. I love this bike, we have been on 400 mile trips in a single day and I am usually the one that wants to go put some more on. The bike corners great and is low enough to the ground that it doesn't feel top heavy. I love my sporty and won't trade it for the world.
- Derrick, Houston, Texas

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2009-03-01 2000 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Hugger Motorcycles View Listings

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I purchased my bike two years ago. It was sitting in a garage for four years and had never been started. It still had the original battery. After putting the battery on a charger, the bike started and ran perfectly. I then took the bike on a test drive and fell in love. The bike has had no problems. It rides, looks and sounds great. Vibration is high on the highway, but other than that I have no complaints. This is the perfect bike for cruising around town and going on short trips. It is very dependable and I recommend it as a great starter bike.
- Dayne, Lafayette, Indiana

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2007-03-20 1999 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Hugger Motorcycles View Listings

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I HAVE HAD PEARL NOW AUG 2001. BOUGHT STOCK AND SOON HAD STAGE 2KIT STRAIGHT PIPES AND FWD CONTROLS. FWD CONTROLS MUST FOR MY HEIGHT. GREAT HANDLING AND VERY FAST THROUGH TURNS. ONLY PROBLEM IS I OUT GREW THE POWER. PAST 19 MONTHS IN SHOP BECAUSE OF EXPEDITION. (3WEEKS ACTUAL WORK) NO LEAKS AND ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEMS. HANDLES WELL IN RAIN (A+ IN WA.) NOT BAD WITH A PASSENGER FOR BIKE SIZE. EVEN POWER WITH SINGLE AND PASS.
- johnny, oak harbor, Washington

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2007-02-28 2002 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Hugger Motorcycles View Listings

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All I have to say is that I'm tired of you guys crying about a Sportster not being comfortable. It's a damn motorcycle for christ sakes. If you want comfort, you should have been smart enough to buy a Softail in the first place. Anyway, I think the Sporster is an awesome bike and there is a reason it has been around for 50 frickin years. I love mine and love riding in general. It is the most quality and reliable motorcycle I have ever owned.
- Eric, Elk Point, South Dakota

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2007-02-08 2003 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Hugger Motorcycles View Listings

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I was lucky enough to find this bike with only 186 miles on it. Since then I have put an additional 300 miles on it. I love this bike. I like riding it almost as much as riding my Dyna. Get one if you can.
- mark, Sanford, North Carolina

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2006-08-24 2001 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Hugger Motorcycles View Listings

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My father bought this new in 2001, and I bought it from him in late 2003. I've put over 8,000 miles on it since then without a problem. It is my daily driver to work when the temp is above 30 degrees, and has never failed me. Being tall, the ride can be somewhat uncomfortable after riding for a couple hours at a time, but about the time my butt starts to hurt, it is time to get some gas anyway. Since I installed pipes and a new airfilter (and new jets), I am averaging 60mpg. I ride on 95 and 295 at speeds of 80mph regularly without a problem.
- John, Portland, Maine

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2005-02-12 2003 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Hugger Motorcycles View Listings

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I love it, I just recently purchased it and have done a few upgrades (hypercharger, Vance&Hines pipes, chrome accessories, rejetted carb) and it runs great and looks awesome. This is my first Harley and I have ridden my Father's Dyna and Softtail, and although it is not as loud considering it's half the engine size it still sounds like a true Harley. I recommend this bike to anyone who is considering the buy. It's a 2003 883 Sportster Classic. I hope all of you have as much fun as I am having with my bike.
- TED, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

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2003-07-31 2003 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Hugger Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought this bike as my first street bike. I was always a dirt and Moto cross rider. I am 44 years old and the wife and I decided to get a bike to cruise the back roads and the Blue Ridge Parkway here in NC. I put the custom touring seat on it and throw over saddle bags. I have really enjoyed it so far had it 3 weeks and have 900 miles on it. no problems would recomend it to anyone as a first bike.
- D. A. Guest Jr, Hamptonville, North Carolina

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2003-07-06 2003 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Hugger Motorcycles View Listings

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Took delivery may 16, 2003. I'm 5'2" tall, 110lbs. and bike is just right for me. Just had my 1000 mile service and added SE II pipes and had carb re-jetted. Made a big difference. I have a bit over 1400 miles. Would have more if we didn't get so darn much spring rain.
- hugger03rider, mount vernon, Indiana

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2003-07-04 2003 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Hugger Motorcycles View Listings

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If you are short, this bike will work out for you. I am 5'2" and the bike fits me well. My feet are not FLAT, but I have control over the bike. You can get a lower profile seat it you want your feet flat. I love my hugger. I keep looking at it, wiping it down, then take it for another ride. Not a moment goes by without thinking about riding my Harley. I have only had it for 24 hours and managed to put 50 miles on it. When I went to pick it up, the dealer went over every detail with me. He rolled it out to the parking lot and started it up. (This is my very first bike so I don't have anything to compare to) When he started it up, it sounded pretty good. Not too loud, not too soft. He pulled the choke out for a bit so it could warm up a bit. The seat is comfortable enough for me. The longest ride I have had so far is only 30 minutes. Powerful enough for me also. My husband says I will outgrow it, but I don't care. This bike is fun! The only problem I had was gripping the clutch, ouch! It hurts these little girly hands. Holding it at a traffic light was troublesome. I had to find Neutral to relieve the pain. The styling is unique with its single seat. Many upgrades available. The handle bars, I think they are called "buckhorn", worked well with my short arms. This is the perfect starter bike for a female. I recommend anyone getting a bike for the first time to take lessons with your state Department of Transportation or DMV. If it wasn't for the lessons, I wouldn't have been able to drive my bike off the lot. It was scary at first with cars all around, but I am getting use to it. I am in a "break-in" cycle right now and only go 50 mph or lower. (Can't wait to pick it up a notch or two) I have been practicing my down-shifting, stopping, and taking curves. Curves are scary at first. It gets better. Overall, I am completely satisfied with the bike. I can't wipe the smile off my face. When you by a Harley, you become part of a family. I was cruising down a highway and other Harley drivers recognized what I was driving and gave me a wave. I can't stress it enough.... TAKE THE RIDING CLASS so you can gain confidence in the bike. IT WORKS!!
- Annette, S. Weber, Utah

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2002-08-31 2001 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Hugger Motorcycles View Listings

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I have owned 8 jap bikes before finally breaking down and buying a Harley. I can't believe I waited so long. The Sportster looks good, sounds good, and runs good. Yes, it vibrates, and yes you will probably want to change the seat, and yes the tank could hold an extra gallon of gas. Small complaints considering the overall performance right off the showroom floor. I am very satisfied with my bike and will probably never buy another jap bike. I also have never delt with nicer people than Harley Davidson motor corp. The customer is number one at H.D.
- Dave T, Youngsville, Louisiana

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2001-11-18 2001 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Hugger Motorcycles View Listings

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Yes it is not the smoothest ride so if you don't want a motorcycle that muffles all the bumps for you than a sporty is not the one for you. If you want a light Harley to get you around town and not take a years pay than a sporty is for you. I bought a 2001 hugger and haven't had a problem yet. I upgraded it to 1200cc for 800 bucks and it is a screamer. I can out run stock 1200 sportsters and it is still under their msrp. As a ride it handles turns well. If you scrape a peg it is probably too late to recover from the lean anyway. And the sportster is a tried and true line of Speed Bikes. If you want something light and fast then a sporty is your choice. If not than get out your pocket book. The cheapest of the big twins is the Dyna Super Glide and that is double the cost of the Hugger. I wouldn't trade my sporty. I am loyal to the 45 year old line.
- Anonymous, California

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2001-10-09 2001 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Hugger Motorcycles View Listings

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I have been reading all the other reviews of Sportsters to what others think of the bike. I have put on about 10,000 miles and can say I agree with most all of the reviews...good and bad (except the over ambitious reviews by people who just bought there bikes). On the plus side you get Harley style and culture for under $10K. Decent power after you put on all the Screaming Eagle parts. I get great gas mileage. Easy to ride. Gets lots of looks if that is what you are into. Do you have to spend $2-3K dollars after you buy a Sporty to get it to run/ride right? Yes There are a lot of hidden costs in buying a base model. Right away you will need a seat, pipes, air cleaner, jet kit, windshield, better grips, etc. The suspension on this bike is awful. It handles like a bike from the 70s or 80s. The brakes flat out suck. There is no other way of putting it. The gas tank is small. One of the truest statements I read in another review was that it feels like it needs another gear. I don't know how many times I have pulled in the clutch and went to shift up a gear only to realize I was already in fifth gear! This bike is not recommended for longer rides.
- Paige, Colorado

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2001-09-10 2001 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Hugger Motorcycles View Listings

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I'm not short, 5'9", but I liked the way the Hugger is kinda low and looks a little better and maybe handles maybe a tad better I'm not sure about the handling part but it is a very nimble and sturdily built bike. Handles cross winds good, just does everything that I need it to do am very satisfied.... although the seat wasn't very comfy, a new Mustang big solo saddle solved that problem. Am planning to leave it totally stock, including the exhaust system.... Am I the only guy that likes the stock pipes?
- Kevin McD, Santa Cruz, California

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2001-05-30 2001 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Hugger Motorcycles View Listings

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The 883 and specifically the hugger have 2 major advantages. The most power for the price of any of the cruisers. Even after all the extra fees it is still less cost. And above all the height. Even Japanese bikes can be tall. And my Mom is 5' and wanted a Harley so she had only the Hugger as her choice and then all she had to do was get a thinner gel seat. She loves and I have ridden it. My plan is to get an XLH883 and eventually switch the engine to a 1200 it ends up being almost 1,000 cheaper. Plus I'm only 5'6" so height can be an issue.
- B Cook, Palm Springs, California

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2001-04-03 2001 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Hugger Motorcycles View Listings

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The Sportster 883 Hugger is a motorcyle that is fun to ride and extremely easy to handle. There are many parts and accessories available to customize the bike. This bike is perfect for medium to short trips, running errands, going to/from the gym, etc.
- RMS, Cincinnati, Ohio

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2001-02-22 2000 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Hugger Motorcycles View Listings

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Got my Hugger January,2000 and the only thing wrong is that here in Maine I can't ride it all year round. She is a perfect bike and I wouldn't trade it for my husband's Electra-Glide classic or any other. I find the ride very comfortable and lots of fun!!!. Its too bad previous reviewers seem to have gotten problem bikes,but as in any product there are always some that are not up to par (and maybe in some cases the bike can't live up to the image the buyer created in their own mind). We plan to do some touring in the future and I look forward to every minute & mile I'll be travelling on my Hugger.
- Barbara, Ripley, Maine

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2001-02-21 2000 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Hugger Motorcycles View Listings

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Gentlemen: I'm 45 years, ridden for 30 years and had 15 Jap bikes. Most of you are missing the true intent on the Sportster. This an entry level Harley. The bike gets great gas mileage, handles great , has good brakes and is a sharp looker. Plus you can never run out of customizing or hot rodding accessories for it. For the money, no Jap bike can beat it. I do miss a couple of things on the bike like: bigger fuel tank, no tool kit, no center stand lugs, no helmet lock, no bungee hooks and smooth rear view mirrors. The bike is not perfect, but if you add it all up, its a great value and a lot of fun for in town and short trips.
- william barroso, Miami, Florida

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2001-02-13 2001 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Hugger Motorcycles View Listings

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This is the first motorcycle I've ever owned. It is definitely a great bike for a chick! I have had the bike since October 2000 and I wish I would have bought a Harley 10 years ago. Better late than never! I'll be going to Laconia, NH this year and I get to drive my own bike instead of being a passenger. I can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Cheryl Cassidy, Springfield, Massachusetts

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2001-01-31 2001 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Hugger Motorcycles View Listings

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This is my first motor cycle so take it for what it's worth! My Hugger has met or exceeded all of my expectations after fifty (chilly) test miles in 36 degree Michigan winter weather. I've riden on the backs of many motorcycles over the years but never had the priveledge of taking control of the grips for myself. The Sporster 883 Hugger fits me like a glove and I think it is the perfect bike to get started on. It fulfills the traditional Harley mystique: plenty of power and looks and sounds fantastic! I've dreamed of owning a Harley and with it's affordable price it is now a reality.
- Paula Palmiter, Okemos, Michigan

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2001-01-02 2000 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Hugger Motorcycles View Listings

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I have had the Screamin' Eagle mufflers put on and the carb jetted (my dealer recommended against the air cleaner for the 883, saying that it has a proclivity to spit gas). The performance is greatly enhanced; the bike runs like it should, breathing as though it has been cured of asthma. Horsepower improvement is neglegible, but torque is way up--I don't have to downshift on anything below, say, a 7% grade. Pulls very nicely in the city, and it is fine at 65 mph. Still, it ain't a speedster, which is fine; not much else looks or sounds better. Now, as for the malcontents, I don't know what to say. I simply don't share your unfortunate experience. You all seem to have purchased lemons, and I would advise you to check your state's lemon laws--you may be covered. Otherwise, quit complaining, have the engine cases snugged, and ride!
- John, Pleasanton, California

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2000-12-04 2000 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Hugger Motorcycles View Listings

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Well, after the long wait (seven months), I can say it wasn't worth it. First of all, when I went to pick it up from the dealer, it won't start, hell it didn't even crank. The dealer "fixed" the short, but only until I decided to take a 60-mile ride! Got stuck an hour from home with only 97 miles on it! The shop "fixed" an electrical problem, or so I hope. Also there is a rather hard pull on the clutch, going to dealer to get that "fixed". I like the ride for the most part. But the engine noise (not exhaust) is horrible. It sounds rather 'loose' at highway speeds. A friend of mine has had a oil leak for over three visits to the dealer. Seems like Harley gets you with there name, and then forgets yours. The dealers I have dealt with are all rude, and annoyed that they have to fix another Harley. Mine is being traded in for a quality bike, Honda Sabre. You should to. Future Honda owner...
- John, Central, New Jersey

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2000-11-06 2000 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Hugger Motorcycles View Listings

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I've owned a Hugger for about a year now and have found it to be a great bike. True there isn't a lot of power but since I didn't buy it for that I wasn't disappointed. The 883 is an affordable way to ride a Harley and I would probably be buying another, however it's time to move up to a bigger bike [Shadow Ace].I've really enjoyed the past year on my little hog.
- Michael Arnold, Roanoke,Virginia

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2000-10-27 2000 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Hugger Motorcycles View Listings

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My wife bought one of these bikes and she's put about 5000 miles on this summer. I had mixed emotions at first because the Sporty I used to own was a lemon, but this has been a solid fun bike and she loves it. I ride it sometimes and even though it's a little slow I still get a kick out of it, plus the 883 has a great exhaust note.
- Mike, Ohio

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